Just got back from a trip to Manali. The place is absolutely beautiful and surrounded by natural beauty. There were lots of things running through my mind. Mostly related to fear of being in a mountainous region after the Uttrakhand tragedy and unfortunately having watched a dreadful video of a bus falling off road in the hills. I will try to recount each of these fearful and exciting experiences I had on this visit. There’s lots to recall and put into words. Creating photographs was probably the last thing on my mind. I was trying to enjoy the trip and take in all I could of the natural beauty around. But in the end I did manage to create some photographs worth sharing. Hopefully you’ll enjoy them. I’m also sharing a little bit of story behind these photographs. All photographs in this post were shot with Canon 1100d using the kit lens 18-55 mm. I didn’t carry my other lens and missed out on a couple of nice opportunities but the kit lens didn’t disappoint either,
On second day of my trip we decided to go to Rohtang Pass a popular tourist place for people visiting Manali. Here as you can see the locals mainly earn through the tourism by setting up tea stalls like this one above. These shops aren’t allowed by the authorities I was told for some reason so the vendors didn’t actually own the shops. They were salaried people taking care of the business part at this height. The place had monsoon clouds with low visibility. It wasn’t raining but little fog like drizzles made the temperature drop quickly and some hot cup of chai (tea) is the best option at such times. This shop particularly caught my attention as it had everything I was witnessing at the place. Temporary chai shop, horses, fog, cold temperature.
These horses were earning well for the locals as these were used to carry tourists to a higher place where was still some snow left. After a lot of yes and no I decided to take the chance and agreed to hop on the back of one of these. Due to rain the path was slippery and risky which made me regret my decision for entire 500 odd meters. I took this photo just before my journey was about to start while we were still wondering whether we should take the risk. I was glad after we returned safely that we took the decision to go.
On our way back from Rohtang Pass we stopped for a while at this waterfall. I took several shots and again only this one stood out for me out of several that I shot.
Manali has natural beauty all around. Whereever you see there’s a scenery. Where we stayed we witnessed the live view of the scene we have been sketching in schools when asked to draw a painting. But I was also seeing a heavily populated mountains. Lots of houses than other hill stations. The place was heavily commercialized but yet some places have kept the serenity intact. To find such places you will have to move further away from the usual Mall Road area.
One of the main attraction at Manali is the Hidimba Temple. The Temple was constructed in 1553 AD in pagoda style of architecture. It’s all wooden structure and very pious for the locals. It was pretty close to where we stayed so we went there almost daily for a walk. I had seen many photos of this temple before going to the trip and I wanted to capture something different. There was something about this temple that kept pulling me in everyday but it was also frustrating at the same time because my mind couldn’t imagine anything unique, something I had not already seen on Google. This was probably the closest I came but I’m sure there is another photo with same composition and angle.
So I diverted my attention to something around this temple. This moment caught my eye. I’m assuming from their dresses that these are local ladies who were on their regular visit to the temple. They were very happy when someone took their photographs. They willingly stood in front of the cameras for every request from any tourist there and weren’t bothered at all.
These were tiny white flowers that caught my attention when we were on a walk amazed by how may different types of flowers and plants were there.
You will find several different colored flowers and with varieties. Big flower. Small flower. Pink. Yellow. Red. This red and that red.
Back at Manali next day we went for a little walk. I noticed this little shop and the shop owner. I approached the man and requested for some photographs. He kindly agreed and we made a few photos. The one I shared last week in Faces series stood out for me. The man seemed an Osho follower and had a calm outlook typical of such followers. I didn’t ask as I believe faith should be allowed to remain a personal thing.
Hope you enjoyed the photos from the trip. I will be posting a more detailed and informative post on Travel Bonkers blog soon. I have already started working on that so you will be hearing from me again very soon. Do join Travel Bonkers blog as well if you have any travel related story to share or read.